Winners abound for derby weekend on Puget Sound

Tom Sullivan of Fox Island landed a 22-pound, 13-ounce chinook to win the $1,500 first prize in Saturday's Point Defiance Salmon Derby.

Ken Hagen of Tacoma took second with a 20-pound, 8-ounce salmon, earning $1,000. Tony Hunter of Yelm was third, winning $750 with a 19-pound, 8-ounce fish.

In the 12-and-under division, Blake Combs won with a 4-pound, 10-ounce salmon.

More than 170 people entered the derby, sponsored by the Tacoma chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Metro Parks Tacoma and Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. There were 21 fish weighed in.

Sullivan’s success didn’t end at the Point Defiance derby. He also was in the derby run by the Puget Sound Anglers South King County chapter. He took second in that event, earning another $1,500.

Brian Haushel won the $3,000 top prize with a 23-pound, 11-ounce chinook. Josh Nobel took third place with a 21-pound, 9-ounce fish, to earn $750.

Mathew Carr won the kids division, and finished eighth overall, with an 18-pound, 13-ounce fish, earning him $500.


Columbia: Fishing below Bonneville Dam has been slow to fair. The state sampled 1,332 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream and they had just four adult and two jack fall chinook and 391 steelhead. There also were 285 boat anglers checked, and they had three adult fall chinook and 100 steelhead. Sturgeon fishing has been slow.

Cowlitz: Not every angler is coming home with a fish, but there are a lot of fish throughout the system right now, said Marshall Borsom at Fish County. He said boaters running divers with coon-striped shrimp are doing well for steelhead. The bank anglers are still using a variety of baits, including corkies and yarn, sand shrimp, jig and bobber, eggs and spoons. There have been reports of a few fall-run chinook being caught.

Olympic Coast: The summer steelhead fishing has been very good, according to Jim Kerr of Rain Coast Guides. The Sol Duc, Bogachiel and Calawah are all low and gin clear, but if you are careful you will find fish willing to bite. The Sol Duc also has summer coho all the way to the hatchery. The glacial rivers have strong numbers of summer steelhead and good numbers of kings.

Puyallup: While river conditions have improved in the last few days, the fishing hasn’t responded. Anglers reported seeing some chinook in the river, but the fish don’t seem interested in biting yet.

Yakima: Nymph fishing has been more productive as of late. The staff at Red’s Fly Shop recommends using a double-bead stonefly with a lightning-bug dropper. If you want to fish dry flies, cast hopper patterns tight to the bank.


Baker: Sockeye fishing isn’t red-hot, but it is still worth the drive north for folks who want to give it a try. Fishing is best in the first few hours in the morning.

Mayfield: A number of anglers reported they caught limits of trout over the weekend. Fish Country’s Borsom said anglers were by the hatchery and using pink or orange Power Bait tipped with a little piece of worm. Tiger muskie fishing has been fair at best.

Riffe: The lake is still producing some silver salmon, but the fishermen are having to work a little harder and deeper. Try using cocktail shrimp, sand shrimp, worm, corn or throwing some hardware.

Washington: The perch fishing has been fair, but the pressure has been light. Look for the fish in water 15 to 25 deep along the weed lines. Start with worms and then switch to perch meat.


North Sound: There is some decent chinook fishing, although it has passed its peak, said Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center. Anglers have yet to see any ocean coho but are catching an occasional resident coho while fishing for chinook. Anglers on the west beaches of Whidbey Island are catching some coho.

Tacoma: Fishing has been inconsistent, said a staffer at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. Try off the Girl Scout camp on Vashon Island, the slag pile and Point Dalco. Fishing at the mouth of the Puyallup River also has been slow. Anglers are having to contend with lots of dogfish. The crabbing has been good, with just about everyone getting some crab and some limits.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640